Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

Boots UK poaches Aldi marketing director

Boots UK has announced that Adam Zavalis, currently marketing director at Aldi, will join the health and beauty retailer as director of brand and communications on February, 25. 

Zavalis has been with Aldi since 2013, in which time the grocer has roughly doubled its market share. He has been responsible for launching a number of successful campaigns for Aldi. Prior to working with Aldi, Zavalis spent eight years as an account director with advertising agency McCann Erickson. 

Helen Normoyle, Boots UK’s marketing director, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Adam to Boots. He brings a lot of valuable experience to the role and, as we celebrate the 170th year of Boots this year, I, and my colleagues, look forward to working with him to take this amazing brand into the future.”

Tesco group appoints new communications director

Tesco has appointed Christine Heffernan as its new group communications director. 

Heffernan will take up her new role in March, and replaces Jane Lawrie who will leave the grocer after just over two years in the role. She has worked extensively with Tesco, having previously been executive director to group chief executive Dave Lewis and, prior to that, as director of corporate affairs at Tesco Ireland. 

Lewis said Heffernan “brings a wealth of experience and business insight to the role, as well as energy and deep communications experience.” 

Superdry posts third-quarter sales fall

Fashion retailer Superdry has reported a fall in quarterly sales.

Superdry’s group sales slipped 1.5% to £269.3m in the period to January 26, which the retailer said was in line with revised expectations following a profit warning at the end of last year.

Ocado warehouse fire complicated by ‘design for robots’

Firefighters who tackled a blaze at Ocado’s Andover warehouse said their work was “very difficult” because the building was “not meant for humans”.

A fire originally broke out at Ocado’s distribution centre, which deploys the latest technology, on Tuesday. It was thought to have been dealt with but erupted again yesterday, leading to the imposition of a 500m exclusion zone and the evacuation of local residents.

Hampshire chief fire officer Neil Odin told the BBC: “This building is not meant for humans to be interacting with the racking and the storage – it has robots moving racking on to loading bays, so for firefighters trying to get in that high and to make an effective fire-fighting strategy, it has been very difficult.”

Crossrail delay means retailers ‘miss £1bn sales opportunity’

Retailers and restaurants in London’s West End face missing out on at least £1bn of extra sales for each year the opening is delayed, the Evening Standard has reported.

New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell, said the delays were “deeply frustrating” and that anger is also being felt property, technology and leisure businesses.

The New West End Company’s £1bn calculation is based on the anticipated increase in footfall and sales the new line was expected to generate.